ABOUT COASTAL REDWOODS
Redwood trees are the tallest living entities on the planet. They can grow to more than 380 feet tall, up to 22 feet in diameter, and live up to 2,000 years. Imagine a tree of that dimension growing from a seed the same size as that from a tomato. The redwood forest is the greatest living-mass-per-land unit ever measured. Along the Northern California coast, redwood forests grow well because of the direct influence of the ocean, which moderates seasonal temperatures, provides abundant winter rainfall, frequent summer fog, and available summer sun. Because of intolerance outside these conditions, the redwood forest is found only up to 30 miles inland. Since logging began in the late 1800s, 95 percent of old-growth redwoods have been forested. Extensive logging has resulted in the loss of old-growth forest, destructive erosion, and decades of stream damage. We won’t see a return of those forests in our lifetime; it’ll take 2,000 years for the trees to once again reach the old-growth stage, In the 1920s, the state of California preserved some key redwood groves. In 1968, this action was followed by the establishment of Redwood National Park and three state parks. The national park boundary encircles the state parks to better protect the ancient redwood forests. In the 1980s, the United Nations designated this area both a World Heritage Site and an International Biosphere Reserve.